6 Great Spots for Free From Food

It’s becoming increasingly common to be affected by food allergies and food intolerance’s.

Whether it’s yourself, or a close friend or family member, it seems rife in today’s modern world. There are a few explanations for this which I’m not going to go into on here- after all, you don’t come here to read about scientific theory right!?

As well as food intolerance’s and allergies, many people are becoming more mindful of what they eat, perhaps cutting out dairy to try and improve their skin and digestion for example, or even removing all animal related products from their lifestyles and becoming vegan. I applaud these people to be honest. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to cut something out of your diet.

What can make it even harder is eating out. When I first removed dairy and eggs from my diet, around eight years ago, eating out often felt like a game of Russian roulette. There were several times the evening ended with me vomiting at home (occasionally even in the venue’s loos) despite having conversations with the restaurants about my allergies.

My eating out options were quickly narrowed down to fail-safe dishes and venues, which is great – up to a point. But with the number of places to eat opening up in Manchester every week (seriously- loads) there is a great opportunity for me to expand my list of Safe Free From place to eat. It has changed a lot since first having to explain my allergies to someone, it is almost the norm now which make it easier to choose great places to eat.

My latest recommendations for good Free From choices (and staff that “get it”) are;

Tea Hive in Chorlton, Manchester

A great selection of local food and ingredients can be found in this independent cafe. They have Vegan cake or brownies available every day. They are super easy going about taking ingredients out to make a dish work for you- they totally get the intolerance and need for free from food. And they have gluten free bread options too.

V-Revolution, Manchester

Or V-Rev if you are a regular! A vegan diner that is simply AMAZING. You have to try it to believe it. Even my carnivore other half loved the burger he had on our last visit. At the time of writing they are still open at the top of Oldham Street, but are moving into bigger and better premises later this year. Exciting times for Manchester!

eating a vegan burger in manchester
8th Day, Manchester

This place is a bit of a Manchester institution and has been around in some form or another since 1970. A workers co-operative it has a cafe downstairs which is big enough for 100 people. A large, and every changing menu of hearty vegan and vegetarian (often free from without even trying) food. As well as the shop upstairs which includes more food and groceries as well as skincare and free from wine and beer. There’s always something new here to try so bring your canvas shopper!

Wagamama, branches nationwide

I’ve go to admit Wagamama has been a grower for me. When I first went there, I found the menu hard to make head or tail of. I often ended up with dishes that weren’t what I’d hoped they’d be. But this past year or two I think they have really upped their game as the menu is changing more often to reflect seasonal produce and to cover different types of diet. On a recent visit here* I found they now have the option to build your own dishes, including their famous Ramen. They are also incredibly good at dealing with allergies, double checking everything without making you feel like some kind of freak. In fact I felt the opposite, like I was in a really safe pair of hands eating here.

chilli squid at wagamama

Australasia, Manchester

This place had been around for a while in Manchester before I eventually tried it. Turns out they are excellent at dealing with allergies and intolerance’s. Australasia do lots of smaller tasty dishes and are really happy to adapt any dish to suit your needs. Being on the pricey side compared to the others I mention here, you do expect great service and my expectations were met. Go here for a birthday treat.

Yo Sushi, branches nationwide

I love Yo Sushi for all the reasons everyone else does; the fun element of picking your own dishes, the fresh and tasty food. But it’s also great for Free From food. I always take a look at the allergen menu before I go, or whilst I’m there, but the staff are always happy to help in my experience.

Bonus Free From suggestions

A couple of other notable places especially for pizza are Zizzi (nationwide) who now do a vegan cheese- I’ve yet to try it, its on my list! And Dough in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, also great for pizza offering Gluten free bases and dairy free cheese too.

Do you have a food intolerance or allergy? How do you find eating out?

Follow:
*denotes I was given vouchers to spend in this venue. Opinions are as always my own.

15 Comments

  1. July 15, 2016 / 9:48 am

    Hi Susie, I do. I can’t eat gluten. Also, I don’t eat meat. It seems easier nowadays to find places that cater for this – and it especially helps when bloggers like yourself tell us the best ones! Great post x

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Thanks Lucy! Have a lovely weekend xx

  2. July 15, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    Great suggestions and I love the photos! I have become familiar with vegan places in Oxford, so many of my friends are vegan.

    I hope you have a great weekend! xx

    • July 15, 2016 / 7:51 pm

      And you lovely lady! xx

  3. Hayley F
    July 16, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Wow, thanks for this. Didn’t know wagamama did free from. I really struggle as im gluten and lactse intolerant. I end up just ordering corn on the cob as there is nothing else i can eat x

    • Hayley F
      July 16, 2016 / 11:59 am

      Forgot to say. I bet you had fun testing the food out hehe x

      • July 17, 2016 / 7:40 pm

        Hehe- yes. Always room for more xx

    • July 17, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      You just need to chat with them about it! So many places are getting good at dealing with us now

  4. July 18, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    I ask my friends. I read blogs. Actualy I found more places reading blogs. I love street food also!

  5. July 19, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    I eat a plant-based diet. Eating out is easy if you avoid chain restaurants and go with smaller, often family-run businesses. Most places will cater if you ask them and plenty have options on the menu already. Asian food is excellent for people with dietary requirements, as are Indian restaurants. I find British people tend to be fussy with their food and don’t like eating authentic non-British dishes (which I guess is why Wagamama and Yo Sushi! are so popular!) Birmingham has a ton of places to eat that are super cheap and delicious plus “free-from” friendly.

    • July 19, 2016 / 7:39 pm

      Great tips thanks Sophie!

  6. July 19, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Great post! I don’t have any dietary requirements, but I do quite enjoy trying out vegan places (the Earth Cafe is a great one too- like 8th Day but in the city). I can’t wait to revisit Manchester when V Revolution have a bigger premises and the new bakery!

  7. July 19, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    When I was advised to go gluten and dairy free eating out was tough in most places, I remember watching my family eat a delicious looking cheese dish whilst I munched on a green bean (yes, literally a green bean). But I realised it’s just about finding the right places. Not tried some of those above, so I’ve added them to the list 🙂

  8. July 19, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    When I was advised to go gluten and dairy free eating out was tough in most places, I remember watching my family eat a delicious looking cheese dish whilst I munched on a green bean (yes, literally a green bean). But I realised it’s just about finding the right places. Not tried some of those above, so I’ve added them to the list 🙂

    • July 20, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Yes- I know that feeling! Thanks for stopping by today x